Did the church have an Ecclesiastic Hierarchy?

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Speaker 1
By the way, Domo, thanks for yes, for joining us again.

Speaker 3
And he’s asking, does the Church have an Ecclesiastic Hierarchy?

Speaker 1
And I’m presuming you’re referring referring to the early Church, right. During the first 100 years when we had, like, Peter and John, James, all the Apostles leading it.

Speaker 2
Yeah. That’s kind of what I’m thinking, too. The Bible talks about there being Deacons and bishops. So there definitely was positions in the Church, and there was the twelve Apostles, and there was, in a sense, yeah. I mean, there was definitely an organized body of Christians, but it’s one Lord, one faith, one baptism at the same time. And I do believe there should be organization in the Church, but at the same time.

Speaker 3
And maybe for our viewers, you guys can define for those who don’t know what an Ecclesiastic Hierarchy is.

Speaker 4
Because I think there’s probably a lot of people that may not know what that is.

Speaker 1
Basically Ecclesiastic is basically the Greek word that basically means Church Church body congregation. When we talk about ecclesiastical matters, we’re talking about Church based matters.

Speaker 3
So then this is essentially describing a search hierarchy, right?

Speaker 2
Yeah.

Speaker 1
So as Tina mentioned, there were bishops, Deacons, all that. And then we do see, for example, in acts where there were important doctrinal issues to be sorted out, that then there would be delegates from all over. We come together and they will have a meeting to discuss it. And we’re told in that meeting, James, for example, one of them, James, was sort of the chair of that session. A lot of people think that, for example, Peter was the one who early on ran the Church. And no, here we saw James for once, acting as it. So we don’t know exactly how all the time the twelve would split up duties or if Peter would be over them or not. But we do see issues, for example, like that one where James was the chair. Thank you for asking.

Speaker 4
And if you need more clarification on that.

Speaker 3
Please let us know what you’re thinking in regards to that question.

Speaker 4
So we can answer it.

Speaker 1
But I also add one thing, too, that, you know, I don’t know if hierarchy is the right word, but you always do see structure as being a biblical concept. When the Hebrews exited Egypt, there was a hierarchy that was put in place with Jethro helping Moses because Moses was just being overwhelmed. He was getting so many cases of petitions, and he just I can’t handle it just all day he’s sitting there dealing cases and just like, dude, what are you doing, Moses? You need to have the families, the tribes, whatever workout, issues from within and easy matters are done at a very local level. And then if it’s appealed, they could go to a smarter person who’s over more people. And ultimately, then it will end up at you and also eventually have Moses praying or working with God. So that part of His Spirit, the Holy Spirit that was on Moses was then given out to 70 elders, and then they were also going to help with the management of the Church. So it just makes sense. And anybody who runs a business knows if you’re going to scale your business, you have to start offloading duties and responsibilities for yourself as a business owner.

Speaker 1
Otherwise you’re going to be crushed. You only have so many hours in the day for yourself to be able to do things. So it has to be a way of establishing accountability, of delegating duties out and that sort of thing. So that is a very biblical concept, having this order.

Speaker 3
And I think the other important component of that, too, is that a lot of people think of a hierarchy as in our mainstream world. It is a system of control, and it also comes with a system of oppression, oftentimes where those higher up the hierarchy are more free and those lower down, it are more controlled and constrained and viewed as lesser. But in God system, that is not so much the case. In fact, it’s very different from that because God puts at the top those who are the most loving, those who are the most gracious, those who are covering over and supporting and not covering over in a bad sense. But in a redemptive sense, those at higher up have a greater responsibility for those that are within their flock.

Speaker 1
They got a verse on that. Let’s look at Mark 1044. And maybe you could read that windy Mark Ten, verse 44.

Speaker 4
Yeah, and it says.

Speaker 3
And whosoever of you will be the cheapest shall be servant of all.

Speaker 4
Slave of all.

Speaker 1
Or in the New Kingdom version, whoever you desire to be first shall be slave of all.

Speaker 3
Yes. And this is such the opposite of what we so often see in the mainstream, where essentially the lower down, the more of a slave people are made when that’s not how it’s supposed to be. Those higher up have a duty to serve those who are below them in the hierarchy. It is to uplift those people, which is a completely different dynamic than what we typically see exactly.

Speaker 1
That’s what I said. I was hesitated to use the word hierarchy because it has a lot of that connotation to it. But structure and order is a biblical concept. But yeah, this concept of Lordship of people really controlling and all that over other people is not a biblical concept. And yes, there should be submission to those who are higher in position. But those people in higher position have a higher duty of love to take care of the people below them. So it’s something like the man woman relationship in a marriage. So, yeah, the woman might submit to the man, but the man has a higher duty to love her and take care of her. And it’s because of that that the wife can then trust the man wholly and depend on him. These nuances here that unfortunately get lost, or I should say more so that Satan corrupts to make the Church often what it should not be and be more in the image of Satan rather than the image of God. Yeah, absolutely.

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